Saturday, October 29, 2011
I attended the Australian Institute of Architects -2011 Victorian Architecture Award Winners Exhibition at Federation Square, (A testament to poor planning and design in itself).
The exhibit display was pathetic, a few cheap posters stuck amidst an open book stall. Very disappointing, the organisers of the exhibition should hang their heads in shame.
The award exhibition had a nothing to desire and if anything reflected poorly on the state of affairs in Melbourne's Architectural and design community.
Melbourne is a City of Architectural disasters (most designed by Denton Corker and Marshall) there is a host of other designers that have also contribute to Melbourne's malaise and lack of built environment creativity. That is not to say that there are no Architects of merit. To the contrary Nonda Kostelidous is brilliant and I also like the work of Ellenburg and Fraser who were featured in the 2011 designer awards but the exhibition did not serve them well, so show therir work in favourable light.
Melbourne needs a dedicated modern art and design museum that is attached to a large hard edge open space. We have a museum to the moving pictures why not design and architecture. If we do manage to get around to constructing an architecture design museum I hope the AIA is kept well aware from it. the Architects themselves should have a say in how they want to display their award winning designs. They should be the ones that tell the story behind the project. The award exhibition should be much more informative, creative and inspiring.
Wednesday, October 05, 2011
Extract from Hansard dated August 23, 2011
The CHAIR — Are you appearing in a private capacity or representing an organisation? If so, which organisation?
Mr van der CRAATS — I am a member of the Proportional Representation Society of Australia and of the Australian Labor Party, but the evidence that I give is of personal opinion.
The CHAIR — I ask you to begin your verbal submission, and we will take it from there.
Mr van der CRAATS — Thank you for the opportunity to speak to this Parliament. I do so with some reluctance, mainly because the last time I gave evidence to this committee I was subjected to what I consider to be harassment, intimidation and vilification by the chief electoral commissioner. It is a matter that I raised before with this committee, or the previous committee, and it failed to respond or to properly act. It is my belief that the actions taken by the chief electoral commissioner constitute contempt of Parliament, and I would like that this committee give further consideration to the complaints that I forwarded to the committee on previous occasions with the view of having the matter properly dealt with by an appropriate authority. I will raise this later in my submission, particularly with respect to item 4 and in relation to the role of the Ombudsman and the electoral commission as it is the Ombudsman that I believe is the appropriate body to review such complaints. However, this committee has a responsibility to ensure the integrity of the parliamentary process, that the committee process is intact and that witnesses are not subjected to some form of harassment or intimidation as a result of evidence given that may be detrimental to or critical of the conduct of the election’s process.
Saturday, October 01, 2011
Jason Dowling, the Age
October 1, 2011
MELBOURNE City Council has become more secretive under lord mayor Robert Doyle, according to a group representing businesses in the city, and this week's council meeting was open to the public for just 12 minutes.
Don Parsons, secretary of the Melbourne Business Council, said increasing numbers of agenda items for council meetings were being classified ''confidential'', which required the public to leave the meeting.
Tuesday night's council meeting was public for 12 minutes with 80 per cent of agenda items deemed confidential. At the coming Tuesday council committee meeting, 75 per cent of items have been classified confidential.''It is something we have been observing for months now, that committee and full council just have more and more confidential [agenda items],'' Mr Parsons said.
''Is it they can't stand scrutiny?''
Cr Doyle rejected the suggestion the council was less transparent than past councils.
He said under former mayor John So, the council often produced two reports, one for the public and a confidential one for the council only.
Cr Doyle said the current system was more transparent because most confidential council agenda items were later released publicly. He said state laws for local councils affected the number of confidential items.
''We are no different from any council in this respect,'' he said. ''We are not secretive.''
Victoria's Local Government Act says a council ''may'' deem items confidential and lists eight areas that may be considered for confidentiality - it doesn't compel councils to make the items confidential.
The chairman of Melbourne City Council's planning committee Ken Ong said greater effort would be made in the future to reduce the number of confidential items.
Councillor Jackie Watts said she would be working to have fewer items classified confidential and encouraging greater transparency at Melbourne City Council.
Yarra City Council mayor Alison Clarke said it was very unusual for their council to have more than 25 per cent of items judged confidential.
''Our September meeting ran from 7pm to 11.45pm, and only about the last 15 minutes was confidential,'' she said.
Local Government Minister Jeanette Powell said ''councils should properly explain why a matter will be dealt with in a closed meeting''.